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"dateline." tonight, obsession. here's chris hansen. >> how could it happen here. a place so rich in privilege and promise. this was home. this was safe. all that darkness and pain, all that rage, it was coming for her. >> this would have happened sooner or later, no matter what. >> it was a crime triggered by a lover's obsession. and it drew the police down a rabbit hole of dead-ends and a big strange twist. were you surprised. >> more surprised how it ended up than how it started out. >> i couldn't put any pieces together. nothing made sense to me. nothing made sense. >> what kind of a person is capable of doing that? >> you have to be a true psychopath. >> the story begins in stanford, connecticut, where anna lisa ra mundo lived a charmed life.
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she was athletic, a harvard grad who got her masters at columbia. by age 32 she was already a pharmaceutical executive and living large. nice car, nice restaurant, and a waterfront condominium. >> her apartment was gorgeous. and she had tons of plants. it was on the water, two floors, and it was just beautiful. >> her friend and co-worker christine dinerstein said everyone admired an 'lisa. >> anna lisa would walk into the room and the room would light up. >> to some, she was almost bigger than life. brilliant, lively, elegant. >> there's anna. >> she had such a desire, and thirst for life. >> hi, anna. >> something her brother and sister couldn't ignore. her love of life was contagious. >> mom, dad, i love you. >> like the time she taught her little sister bernadette into going skydiving.
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>> it was all her idea to go skydiving. she made me do that. i never wanted to go skydiving. >> and she had a boyfriend. >> she adored him. she was in love with him. >> they met at work. his name was nelson sesler. what kind of a guy was he? >> the exact opposite of her. she was very outgoing, and he was very quiet and subdued. >> they kept their relationship kind of quiet around the office. they worked at the pharmaceutical firm purdue pharma, along with christine. she says anna lisa was ready to get married. nelson, not so much. >> anna lisa would tell me that, you know, he was back and forth. she didn't feel that he was ready to commit. >> but their romance seemed to be picking up. in fact, nelson joined anna lisa and her big extended family at her sister bernadette's wedding in michigan. there he is watching anna lisa, the maid of honor.
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and he seemed like a good sport. even joining the man in the garter toss. >> do you think they were heading towards a serious relationship? >> it seemed it. at my wedding, actually, she was the one who caught the bouquet. so we kind of looked at her and said, oh, you'll be next. >> about a month after the wedding, the couple went more public. they planned a night out in manhattan with work friends. >> this was our first time getting together as couples. >> christine wasn't worried at first when anna lisa and nelson didn't show up on time. anna lisa had been late before. >> 7:30 comes, we call. >> anna, where are you? >> but we expect her to be late. 8:00 comes, we're still calling. >> we're waiting for you. give me a call back as soon as you get this. >> i must have called her phone 25 times, if not more that night, looking for anna lisa. >> so dinner went on without nelson and anna lisa. >> driving home from the city
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that night, i said to the person i was with, we should stop by the condo to see her. for some reason we didn't. >> what christine and her friends could not have known was that someone else had gone to the condo earlier in the day. >> hello. a guy attacked my neighbor. >> you think someone attacked your neighbor? >> a 911 call had sent police rushing to anna lisa's home just after noon. tom mcginty would lead the investigation with greg holt. >> what did you find? >> the door ajar. as you looked inside, you saw the female victim lying on her back, and seemed like a violent struggle. >> it was anna lisa. she had been beaten and stabbed repeatedly right in the middle of the day. >> there were plants overturned, dirt on the floor. very bloody scene. >> did it look like she had struggled? >> very much so. >> absolutely. she fought for her life. >> there was no sign of forced
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entry. the investigators figured anna lisa had opened the door to her killer. was it someone she knew? >> and who was on the short list of potential suspects? >> you always start with a small circle and go out, and her small circle would have started with her boyfriend. >> nelson sesler? >> yes. >> police didn't have to go looking for nelson sesler. he drove up to anna lisa's complex about the time he and anna lisa were supposed to go to dinner. investigators broke the news to him and then told him to stick around. >> he was asked to wait outside, and he was put in an area of the condo which is commonly referred to as the boat house. >> about 700 miles away, local police in bloomfield hills, michigan, were bringing the terrible news to anna lisa's family. >> how did you learn that your sister had been killed? >> there was a loud knock on our front door. shocked us out of bed. and i went downstairs, and there
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were police. it's hard to process that this has happened. i still kept thinking, no, they couldn't have gotten it right. >> bernadette had to tell her parents. >> and i said, what happened to her? was she in an accident? i told her to be careful, you know. i was just shocked and crying. >> i felt so bad, and so weak. and it was a shock, you know. >> back in connecticut, stanford police were getting a surprisingly different vibe from anna lisa's boyfriend, nelson sesler. was he emotional? >> if he was, he didn't show it to us. >> did he ask what happened to anna lisa? >> never to us. >> no. not at all. >> never to us. in fact, went to sleep. >> he went to sleep? >> went to sleep in the boat house. >> as seasoned detectives, what did that say to you? >> raised a big flag with us. big red flag with us. >> yes. >> makes you wonder, did nelson
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sesler know more than he was telling police about the murder of his girlfriend? and what would have been his motive for murder? no one could figure it out, especially his friends. >> how could he do this. why would he do this. it didn't make sense. >> neither did a strange game between a husband and wife, but it would provide a critical clue to solving anna lisa's murder. when "obsession" continues. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up
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in the middle of the night it can be frustrating. it's hard to turn off and go back to sleep. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and may be fatal. intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime or in the middle of the night or drank alcohol that day. do not drive or operate machinery until at least 4 hours after taking intermezzo and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities
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while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. common side effects are headache, nausea, and fatigue. so if you suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, ask your doctor about intermezzo and return to sleep again. ♪ and return to sleep again. excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game.
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i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. anna lisa. anna lis i lost my mentor.
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it didn't seem real. there's not a single person in this world that would ever want to hurt anna lisa. >> maybe, but someone killed her. and it didn't look random. no burglary gone wrong. she knew her killer. who would possibly do this to your sister? >> we had no idea. >> how do you even comprehend that as a parent? >> you can't. you can't. >> what they really couldn't comprehend was that anna lisa raymundo was anyone's victim. she wasn't just physically strong, she was smart and cautious. not an easy target. so hard to believe that only a month before she died, anna lisa and her boyfriend, nelson, were together at her sister's wedding. and everyone wondered, was he the one. now he was at stanford police headquarters fielding questions about his girlfriend's murder. >> everything we tried to get from him, we had to pull from
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him. >> nelson said he slept at anna lisa's the previous night, as he often did, and last saw her alive that morning when he left for work. he said he spent the rest of the day at the office. >> one of our questions to him, over several interviews, if he had any girlfriends, anybody else he was seeing at the time he was seeing anna lisa. he continually said no all the time. >> do you think he was holding back on you during that first interview? >> no question. no question. >> when nelson sessler leaves that interview, was he still a suspect? >> absolutely. >> but friends were baffled, nelson, a murder suspect? >> how could he do this. why would he do this. it didn't make sense. >> police took a hard long look into sessler's whereabouts the day of the murder. >> we were able to obtain all his records from work, video of him at work. he left the morning in those clothes, came home in those clothes. no marks, no blood on him. basically the next morning we could have him at work all day.
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>> so he had an ironclad alibi. >> absolutely. >> so nelson sessler wasn't the killer. but the police still wondered about him. >> i didn't like him as the perpetrator in this, but i liked him for being right dead set in the center of this. >> by now, other suspects were surfacing, and tips were coming in about one in particular. a sketchy guy who had been hanging around the docks. >> he had been seen by one of the residents in the condominium complex who also had a boat moored out there. >> his name was gary riley, and he wasn't just seen the day of the murder, he was heard telling people things. >> he had talked to many people, giving them information about the crime, which kept coming back to us. >> did you talk to gary riley? >> several times. >> and what did he tell you? >> he would deny what he told other people. >> police dismissed riley as a big talker, and a stranger to anna lisa, not a likely suspect.
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and remember the 911 caller? clearly she knew something. >> yes, hello. i think a guy is attacking my neighbor. >> the call had come from a pay phone just down the street from anna lisa's house. >> you think someone attacked your neighbor? >> yes. i heard yelling. i heard yelling. >> the woman calling didn't give her name, and abruptly hung up. >> hello? >> police check with anna lisa's neighbors. no one could identify the caller. another dead end. >> was there a time when you thought this case may never be solved? >> oh, definitely. i felt like the police had no idea, no direction. it was just a mystery. >> so you've got suspicions about nelson sessler. you've got a 911 call. you've got a lot of blood and evidence from the crime scene. but no primary suspect. >> no. >> how long did this case stay
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that way? >> i'd say about five months. >> a long five months. >> and then on march 23rd, 2003, just across the connecticut state line, here in westchester county, new york, another stabbing would change the course of the anna lisa investigation. a woman brought her husband here to the westchester medical center. he had been stabbed in the chest. and this couple's story was so flat-out weird, veteran police detectives are still talking about it. >> she originally tells me that, you know, he had come home from work and he was injured. >> westchester county detective allison, said that while the husband paul was being taken to the e.r., she spoke with his wife, a woman named sheila davalu. >> i sat down with her. she was polite, cooperative. >> he came and said -- he laid on the floor. he was bleeding. and i got nauseous. i couldn't look at it.
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>> but this case was about to take a hairpin turn, because the gravely injured husband was conscious and telling a very different story. he said he was injured while he and his wife were playing some sort of game at home. >> tell me about it. >> we were playing a game. >> well, clearly something went wrong, and police were about to learn that this game, this injured man and his wife would have a curious connection to the life and death of anna lisa raymundo. coming up, exactly what kind of game was this couple playing? >> now, i'm not passing judgment, but when a game involves a blindfold and handcuffs -- >> you want to think, it's got to be
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it had been five months since the stabbing death of anna lisa raymundo in stanford, connecticut, and now -- >> i was in shock. i think i dropped the knife. i was holding it down so it wouldn't hurt him anymore. >> police in westchester county, new york, were engaged in a bizarre conversation with a woman whose husband had been stabbed. the wife was fuzzy about the details. but the husband told investigators he had been stabbed while the couple was playing some sort of game in their home. >> you can blindfold each other, tie each other up and you have to guess what's touching the body. >> paul christos will never forget. >> what did this game involved? >> it was described as a guessing game where you would be blindfolded and you would have to guess what the items are. >> i'm not passing judgment here. >> right. >> but when a game involves a
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blindfold and handcuffs -- >> you want to think, it's got to be sexual, right. >> you would think. >> yeah. it's a good point. i wouldn't be afraid to say it was sexual. the truth is, it wasn't. >> kind of an odd diversion for two academics. the wife, sheila davalloo, was a research scientist, her husband, paul christos, was pursuing his doctorate in epidemiology. >> she said she just wants to play this game. it will take a couple hours. she'll be happy and i'll go back to my work. >> paul says sheila went first. she was handcuffed to a chair. paul put a few items against her face, a camera, a shampoo bottle. she tried to guess what they were. and then it was paul's turn. blindfolded, handcuffed, the whole drill. how long did it take until this game took a very bizarre, painful, dangerous turn? >> i would say after five or six items, i felt a large, or heavy thrust on my chest.
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almost felt like a dumbbell dropped on my chest. >> did she say anything to you? >> i think after three seconds passed, i felt another large thrust on the chest. and then she said, oh, my god, you're bleeding. i think i hurt you. >> there wasn't a lot of blood. he said the pain wasn't severe. so he wasn't sure what happened. >> i saw one wound that didn't look deep or anything. i thought maybe she had a seizure and fell on me, or did something. but now i come back to reality, because she's helping me get out of the chair. >> paul said sheila seemed to panic when he started to bleed. so he took charge, telling her to call an ambulance. >> i said, all right, call 911. she gets on her phone, i hear her pacing around the room. my husband has been hurt, please hurry. >> in her conversation with detectives, sheila did seem distraught at times. >> tell me.
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what happened? you had a great day. sheila -- >> i don't want to talk about it. >> it took a while, but sheila finally admitted to the game. she did cut paul, but said it was an accident. >> how do you accidently cut someone. >> we were playing a game. it got out of hand. it was an accident. >> i kept saying, i just don't understand. you have to explain it to me. >> i don't believe you. >> sheila insisted she wanted to save paul's life. but after that 911 call, no ambulance came. and that's when she drove him to the hospital. >> i would not have hurt him. if i wanted to hurt him, i would
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never have come to the hospital. >> but it was at the hospital right there in the parking lot that the case of the husband, the wife and the game took an unexpected turn. police spotted sheila's cell phone lying on the ground. you know, the one she used to call 911. >> i'm thinking i'm going to find 911 on the phone, that she had called for help for her husband. we didn't find that call on the cell phone. but we did notice after he was injured that she did call a gentleman by the name of nelson. >> in fact, detective carpenterier found she didn't call 911. the only call she made was to anna lisa raymundo's boyfriend. why would sheila davalloo, who had just stabbed her husband, call nelson sessler? what's the link between those two? and what did it have to do with the murder of anna lisa? >> two stabbings in a short
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period of time, and they're both connected to nelson? something does not make sense. >> when "obsession" continues. s. ♪ doing it with a cold, just not going to happen. ♪ vicks dayquil powerful non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ no matter what city you're playing tomorrow. [ coughs ] [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. ♪ vicks nyquil powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪
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i did not set out to hurt him. >> a woman named sheila davalloo stabs her husband during a weird guessing game, and then of all people, she calls nelson sessler, the boyfriend of a woman who had been stabbed to death just a few months before. co-worker and friend christine got the news right away. >> i get to work. and i go sit down at my desk. and someone comes up to me and tells me, did you hear what sheila davalloo did? >> as it turns out, sheila davalloo also worked at purdue
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pharma, where christine, nelson sessler and anna lisa worked. sheila was known as a competent biochemist and researcher, friendly, social, very smart. >> she was very successful. not a lot of promotions in the company. >> the story about sheila and that night swept through the office. >> i've never heard of anyone getting stabbed in my life, and here it is, two stabbings in a short period of time? and they're both connected to nelson? something does not make sense. >> that's pretty much what detective carpentier was thinking. they asked nelson sessler to come back for another interview. stanford investigator tom mcginty was there as well, as sessler admitted that he and sheila davalloo were friendly. >> he was talking about his relationship with sheila, how they were such good friends and they used to go skiing. and she had purchased two dogs, and he would go over to the house and walk them for her. i said to him, nobody's driving
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to westchester and not getting laid. he finally admitted he was having a sexual relationship with sheila. >> nelson was now admitting there had been another woman in his life. he had dated sheila and anna lisa at the same time. but said he broke up with sheila as things got serious with anna lisa. that was the two months before the murder. and after the murder, he and sheila hooked up again. >> how did you react when sessler finally came clean to you and said, yes, i was having a sexual relationship with sheila davalloo? >> it was very upsetting. >> he's been working this case, anna lisa's homicide day and night. so the fact that nelson was keeping information from him was definitely upsetting to investigator mcginty. >> and there were more surprises. nelson sessler said he had no idea sheila had a husband. and the husband didn't know anything about nelson.
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until detective carpentier told him. she also told paul about anna lisa. and that's when it clicked. that name, anna lisa. >> she was telling me the story at work about three people, melissa, jack and anna lisa. >> it was an office love triangle. sheila said it involved her very, very good friend melissa. who was hooked on a guy who had a girlfriend named anna lisa. and sheila talked about it a lot. >> she seemed to want to tell everybody about it. she told me, she told friends of ours. >> sheila's friend tammy mae heard about the love triangle and she heard about it all the time. >> sheila would talk about her friend almost more than she talked about her spouse. almost to the point she was obsessed with it. she would even talk about their sex life quite a bit. >> when sheila's affair with nelson sessler was uncovered, the fiction dissolved. >> jack turned out to be in
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reality nelson sessler. >> all of sheila's stories were really about herself, and her own apparent obsession with nelson sessler. maybe nelson thought it was a casual fling, but sheila sure didn't. and it was only days after anna lisa's murder that sheila moved in on nelson again. >> according to nelson sessler, sheila began to bring him care packages a couple weeks after anna lisa had died. >> it became very obsessive. when i think nelson learned the extent of the obsession, it became alarming. >> how would you best describe sheila davalloo? >> manipulative. >> highly intelligent. and very good liar. >> suddenly, and for the first time, police investigating the murder of anna lisa raymundo had a suspect. they wondered if nelson broke up with sheila with anna lisa, how far would sheila go to get him back. coming up, she was clearly an obsessed woman.
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but is anybody this cold-hearted? >> she had her nails done that morning. she spoke to her friends that morning. >> she had a list, get my nails done, have lunch and kill my husband. and...done. did you just turn your ringer off so no one would interrupt us? oh no, i... just used my geico app to get a tow truck. it's gonna be 30 minutes. oh, so that means that we won't be stuck up here, for hours, with nothing to do. oh i get it, you wanna pass the time, huh. (holds up phone) fruit ninja!!! emergency roadside assistance. just a click away with the geico mobile app.
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and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. common side effects are headache, nausea, and fatigue. so if you suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, ask your doctor about intermezzo and return to sleep again. ♪
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after five months of dead-ends the investigation into the murder of anna lisa raymundo was heating up. police were learning that sheila davalloo had been obsessed with anna lisa's boyfriend nelson sessler. she was talking about him all the time. and she wasn't just talking, stalking, spying on nelson and anna lisa. even her husband paul knew about it, sort of. >> it was like, i'm helping my friends with a cheating boyfriend. that sounds fine, go ahead, do it. i even had the night vision binoculars i had from high school. take these, you can see in the dark pretty well. >> if sheila was spying on anna lisa by night, the next question was, where was she on the day of the murder. police contacted purdue pharma. sheila had checked out of the office that very morning. next, they got a search warrant for sheila's apartment. >> we recovered packaging and receipts for two stun guns. >> two stun guns? >> she had a lock pick set.
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and she had night vision goggles. >> and recording devices. >> police now had a theory. sheila davalloo was so obsessed with nelson sessler that she stau stalked his girlfriend and went to her home to kill her. >> this was not a spontaneous crime. this took a tremendous amount of planning. >> five years after anna lisa's death, sheila davalloo was arrested and charged with her murder. >> it's like one of these lifetime movies where you hear about this kind of stuff. it's so hard to believe it. >> and sheila would say it's hard to believe, because she was being railroaded. the evidence was flimsy. there were other suspects. and the case was purely circumstantial. >> there you go. >> yes, we are, your honor. >> when she finally went on trial early last year, sheila davalloo was fully prepared to take charge. she decided to represent
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herself. >> she's so arrogant, she thinks she can do better than her own lawyer. >> but she did sound the part. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. objection, your honor, hearsay. >> she was polite, professional. >> no further questions, your honor. >> and so steady. this educated, friendly, mild-mannered woman was the same one who viciously stabbed anna lisa raymundo to death? exactly, according to the prosecutor and police. she planned the killing, she carried it out, she covered it up. nelson sessler, a one-time suspect, was now introduced to the jury as just another victim of sheila's lies and manipulation. >> at any time prior to march 23 of 2002003, did she ever tell y she was married? >> no. she never did. >> and a low-keyed demeanor that police had once found so suspicious, now it seemed that's just how he is. >> he's very laid back.
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he's too laid back. people might miss interpret that for not being emotional at all, or not caring. but i think he does care, and he did care. >> he just didn't notice, according to the prosecution, that sheila davalloo's feelings were so intense. he even seemed clueless in the summer before anna lisa was killed, sheila suddenly showed up on his flight for las vegas. >> i looked up to see sheila davalloo walk up to me. >> at the airport? >> at the airport. there she was. and she was on the same flight as me, coming back -- >> where was she sitting on this flight? >> she sat next to me. >> was this a complete surprise to you? >> a complete surprise to me. >> but sheila's friend, tammy mae, knew this wasn't a coincidence. sheila told stories about hacking into sessler's voicemails, and she knew exactly where he was going to be. >> she pretended it was destiny or fate. >> she was so manipulative, the
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prosecutor suggested that when she killed anna lisa, she used nelson's grief to seduce him again. >> sheila was one of the few people that i knew in stanford that actually, you know, was willing to talk about it. most people sort of shunned me. you know, i really didn't have a whole lot of friends here to talk about it. >> but the prosecutor had to show the jury that not only was sheila davalloo obsessed with nelson sessler, she was willing to kill someone to have him to herself. >> state calls to the stand paul christos. >> that's why the testimony of paul christos was so important. >> it's surreal. i look back and can almost look at it in the third person. >> the prosecutor argued when sheila rekindled her affair with nelson, her husband paul was now in the way. she staged the game. she stabbed him and then agreed to drive him to the hospital, albeit slowly, until she hoped he would bleed to death on the way. paul told the jury how he begged
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her to hurry. >> let's go, it's taking too long, i can't believe how long this is taking. >> when they finally arrived and he was still alive, the prosecutor argued her deadly intention became clear. the time was up for paul. >> she came in through the driver's side rear door. at that moment she lunged at me. >> lunged? >> yes. and stabbed me in the chest. >> now you're really bleeding. >> yes. this one had a lot of blood. >> this time she nicked his heart. >> what are you doing, oh, my god, you're trying to kill me. >> and remember that call she made to nelson after she first stabbed paul? she was inviting nelson to dinner. for that very night. paul, who is now divorced from sheila, finds the whole thing unbelievable. >> she did her nails that morning. she spoke to her friends that morning. she's doing her normal things. and then she figures she'll get rid of her husband. >> she had a list, get nails done, talk to friends, kill my husband. >> and make sure nelson gets
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here by 8:30 so we can have dinner. >> so now if the jury was wondering if sheila davalloo would actually do this, the prosecution's answer was yes. because she did this. and where there was motive, the prosecutor argued, there was opportunity. the jury heard how sheila checked out of her office the morning of anna lisa's murder. she had no alibi. and remember that mysterious 911 call that came in minutes after the murder? >> a guy is attacking my neighbor. >> police believe the caller was sheila davalloo herself. the prosecutor said voice recognition software showed it was indeed the defendant. >> that call was intended obviously as a matter of common sense, to throw the police off her trail. >> the prosecution had a suspicion 911 call, no alibi, and a killer motive. but was that enough to put sheila davalloo away.
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coming up, sheila davalloo was about to do something perhaps never before seen in a courtroom. cross-examine the ex-husband she tried to kill. and the man she allegedly killed
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the case against sheila davalloo was loaded with motive. love, rage, obsession. but the prosecutor needed evidence that put her at the scene of the crime. and that's where a cut on sheila's hand came in. sheila's friend, tamy mae, testified that she noticed the ugly gash just a few weeks after anna lisa's murder. >> i was like, oh, my goodness, what did you do? she said she cut it on a can of dog food. >> but what if she cut herself during the murder and left some dna behind. police checked sheila's dna against some blood found at the crime scene.
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>> do you remember your exact words? >> his exact words were, we've got her. >> sheila davalloo's dna was found in a drop of blood on a sink handle in anna lisa's bathroom. >> there's only one explanation for that, and that's that she did this crime. it is consistent with guilt and only guilt. >> but it was just one tiny drop. would that be enough to convince a jury. >> i'm claiming my innocence. >> not if sheila davalloo had her way. >> but this is a case where i am being accused of killing somebody. >> as sheila davalloo presented the case for her own defense, she boiled it down to this. the state's case is flimsy. the evidence isn't there. and i'm not the villain they're making me out to be. with a respected public defender assisting, sheila pointed out the weaknesses of the prosecution's case. >> no hair evidence. >> the fact is from the terrible scene of violence and death --
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>> no fingerprints. >> there was no physical evidence, with the exception of that one sample of dna -- >> search of my car yielded nothing. >> -- that put sheila in anna lisa's apartment. and even that couldn't put her there on the day of the murder. >> did the state prove to you that i was there on that day? well, they can't do that. >> what about the 911 call that supposedly put her just a few blocks from the murder? the prosecution said the caller was probably the defendant. the people who knew sheila testified it was hard for them to tell. >> parts of it sounded like sheila, and a part of it didn't sound like her. >> when you heard that 911 tape, what did you think? >> i couldn't really be sure. >> and her lack of an alibi, sheila said there was nothing suspicious about the fact that she left the office the day of the murder, because she left the office all the time. >> on september 30th, i left work for four hours.
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on october 2nd, i left work around the same time for two hours. >> she argued that once the police settled on her, they lost interest in any other suspects. she called gary riley, the petty criminal who had been seen in the area the day of the murder. he said he saw a fight going on between a woman and a man near anna lisa's apartment the day she was killed. >> and i seen a lady and a guy arguing. >> as for the attack on her husband that culminated here at the westchester medical center, sheila said it had nothing to do with anna lisa raymundo or nelson sessler. she told us off camera, she had been depressed, abusing prescription medication and out of her mind when she stabbed paul. she never argued that at this trial, but when she faced her ex-husband in court, she implied she had been mentally impaired. >> when i lunged at you, you said i looked distressed? >> correct. >> and you have previously
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stated that i looked kind of crazy at that time? >> crazy, angry, correct. >> what was that like to sit on the stand to be cross-examined by sheila? >> it was weird. who knows what she's going to say. >> she even asked paul, the man she stabbed, to comment on her supposedly gentle character. >> and you have said that i never wished harm to other people, even those i disliked? >> correct. >> after the ex-husband, she moved on to the ex-lover, telling the jury she was never hung up on nelson sessler. >> we had a summer fling. summer fling over a year before miss raymundo was killed. >> and when sheila davalloo finally faced nelson sessler during her cross-examination -- >> good afternoon, mr. sessler. >> -- she seemed ready to throw him right under the bus, reminding the jury that he acted at one point that he had
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something to hide. >> you lied to the police? >> i wasn't forthcoming to the police. >> and what was the nature of that lie? >> i hadn't told them that you had been my girlfriend in the past, and we had a relationship. >> right. and you did that why? >> i didn't want you to go through the ordeal that i had gone through. >> and then without presenting any evidence to back it up, she suggested nelson might be the killer. >> on the day of miss raymundo's murder, mr. sessler, you had swollen red knuckles, a red mark on the side of your face, wrapping around your ear, and scratches on your back, correct? >> not to my knowledge. >> over the two and a half week trial the jurors heard the testimony of an ex-lover, an ex-husband, and hours of technical testimony about evidence, dna and a woman's
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voice. and then the jury got the case. >> i refused to believe they would not find her guilty. >> but the prosecutor prepared your family for that possibility. >> yes, he did. >> a day passed. no verdict. on the second day, the jury came back. >> will the defendant, sheila davalloo, please rise and face the jury. is she guilty or not guilty? >> guilty. >> guilty of murder in the first degree. two months later anna lisa's parents got their say at sheila davalloo's sentencing. >> i would have to repeat that nightmare scene. desperately crying out to me for help. >> she broke my heart. our family will never be complete again. >> and then it was sheila davalloo's turn. >> i'd like to thank god, thank my family for their continued support over the past two years. >> she thanked everybody.
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she thanked the prosecutor for being an able adversary. >> i would like to thank everybody at the department of corrections, in both new york and connecticut. >> she stood up there as if she had won an award. >> she even addressed the raymundos. >> i pray for them and hope that this punishment that your honor will hand down today will bring them some kind of closure. >> she made it sound like, i didn't do it, but if you're going to give me this sentence, i'll do that for you. that's the sheer arrogance. >> in the end, the judge sentenced her to 50 years. but here's what the jury was never told. at this point sheila davalloo was already serving 25 years in new york for the attempted murder of her ex-husband. when that term is finished, she'll be sent to connecticut to start serving out her sentence for anna lisa's murder. for now, she is working on her appeals.
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the case has created an unexpected bond between paul christos and anna lisa's parents. >> we are very grateful to him. >> frankly, i told him, i won't tell you that i'm happy that you got stabbed, but on the other side, if you didn't get stabbed by your wife, anna lisa's case would have been a cold case. >> i try to make them feel better. i kind of said, what's a little stabbing between friends. it was a paring knife, whatever. >> everybody's like, this is what you would see in a movie. i still find it hard to believe that it happened. >> looks just like her. >> bernadette and her husband now have three children, who brought life back to this family. >> it needs a forest fire. >> their firstborn was given the anymore anna lis. she's funny, thoughtful, smart, just like her aunt, anna lisa. what do you want people to know
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most about your sister, anna lisa? >> my sister was one of the most loving people that you could ever meet. everybody that she came in touch with has wonderful memories of her. >> you could picture her as a princess, or picture climbing a mountain, or picture her playing tennis. >> she would want to be the best at everything she did. and she was. that's all for now. i'm lester holt. that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. -- captions by vitac -- from nbc news in washington, the world's longest-running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. substituting today, chuck todd. good morning. it's super bowl sunday. and here in washington, some big
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showdowns are on the horizon. we've got it all covered this morning, including the big game tonight. bob costas of nbc sports will be here to talk about football and player safety issues. but we want to start with a washington battle on full display this week when the president's pick to head the pentagon, former republican senator chuck hagel, came under fire from members of his own party during a very contentious confirmation hearing. >> name one person in your opinion who's intim nated by the israeli lobby in the united states senate. >> are we right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. >> senator hagel, please answer the question i asked. today, do you think unilateral sanctions would be a bad idea? >> all this raising questions about how effective chuck hagel will be if confirmed as secretary of defense. earlier this weekend, i sat down for a rare joint interview with the top military leadership issue the outgoing secretary of defense leon panetta and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey. secretary panetta, welcome back to "meet the press."
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general dempsey, welcome. let me start with the man that is poised to take your place. he underwent on thursday a pretty tough round of questioning. he seemed to struggle with a lot of the answers. of course this is chuck hagel, the former republican senator from nebraska. look at some of his answers. >> i should have used another term, and i'm sorry. i would like to go back and change the words and the meaning. the bigger point is, what i was saying, i think -- what i meant to say, should have said, is recognizable. it's been recognized, is recognized. well, i said it. and i don't remember the context or when i said it. well, i said what i said. i said many, many things over many years. that's what i should have said. and thank you. >> secretary panetta, many of those answers did not satisfy a lot of republicans. senator roy blunt is going to vote no. he said his answers were too inconsistent particularly related to iran and israel. marco rubio said i've been
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deeply concerned about his plef previous comments. john barrasso, he appeared weak and wobbly. are you concerned? >> well, everyone you quoted is a republican, and it's pretty obvious that the political knives were out for chuck hagel. >> and you think that was totally personal, partisan? >> well, what disappointed me is they talked a lot about past quotes. but what about what a secretary of defense is confronting today. what about the war in afghanistan? what about the war on terrorism? what about the budgety is quester and what impact it will have on readiness? what about middle east turmoil? what about cyber attacks? all of the issues that confront a secretary of defense, frankly, those were -- we just did not see enough time spent on discussing those issues. and in the end, that's what counts. >> you're fully confident chuck hagel is prepared to take your place? >> absolutely. >> general dempsey, we did a word count. something like 37 mentions of afghanistan a

Dateline NBC
NBC February 4, 2013 2:00am-3:00am PST

News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb. (2012) The investigation into a young woman's murder reveals a love triangle and a strange game that lead to an unexpected suspect. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Anna Lisa 33, Sheila Davalloo 28, Us 10, Anna Lisa Raymundo 6, Nelson Sesler 5, Geico 5, Paul Christos 5, Chuck Hagel 5, Westchester 5, Christine 5, Intermezzo 4, Bernadette 4, Gary Riley 3, Paul 3, New York 3, Anna 3, Washington 3, Sheila 3, Nausea 2, Stanford 2
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